My day was a series of improvisations, which can lead to great things, so fingers crossed about that. I went to my food tour an hour earlier, forgetting that I had gotten an email about it being at 11AM, rather than 10AM. For a brief moment, I was convinced the tour left without me. But they hadn’t.
An hour later, my food tour went off without a hitch. I cannot recommend enough the act of going on food tours. I’ve gone on several of the Secret Food Tours, but I do feel like that any food tour is a great way to orient yourself in a new location. We had the typical Dutch foods like stamppot, jenever, and bitterboellen.
After the food tour, I went to the Royal Palace on Dam Square. The Royal Palace was very interesting to me. The first king of Holland was Louis Bonaparte, my second favorite Bonaparte. His rule, even though he was a Frenchman/Corsican, was an important aspect of centralization of the Dutch nationality. His rule essentially created a nationality, as a contrast to Frenchness/Spanishness (their prior colonial overlords).
I returned to my hotel to check my email and get a coffee. At five o’clock, when I went downstairs to get a coffee, I was offered a free cheese tasting. They had a pesto cheese that was really delicious. I’ve become very fond of aged cheese. I like the sharpness, the hint of salt.
Then, I went to the Heineken Experience to fill up my evening. I did not like the Heineken Experience. I don’t like beer all that much, but the beer was fine. I just could not get into the mega-corporate vibe and the massive whitewashing of the most interesting aspect of the Heineken Experience: the kidnapping of Freddy Heineken.
It wasn’t as traumatic as J. Paul Getty’s kidnapping, but any hint of crime was not discussed. Heineken Experience was very touristy. If you don’t mind dropping twenty dollars on a glorified Instagram opp.
At the Heineken Experience, I lost my Amsterdam card, which really changes my plans. Travel is all about improv, guys.